by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Yesterday, I was reading about Henry Ford’s Village Industries project. Once again, Ford is a hero of mine because I choose to admire the good in people, rather than disregarding their contributions because of their blind spots, which is the hip thing to do. I like Thomas Jefferson and Isaac Newton very much, too.
Anyhoo, the Village Industries was a hobby of Ford’s. He didn’t keep good records because he was just doing something that made sense. All these farm people had no work in the winter, and so they were trying to move to the factories as seasonal labor. Ford set up production in quaint little former millstream villages. They would be powered by water because it was green before green was cool. Another problem this solved was that of his factory growing beyond a manageable size. I don’t know if anybody did a study to see what the highways these days would look like if they were driven mostly by truckers hauling the output of off-site factories instead of commuters.
Another noble thing about the project was Ford expressly said he wasn’t trying to have planned communities, as he didn’t believe in plans. He wasn’t going to have a company store or employee housing. He did not want to be patriarchal. He just had an idea he wanted to try out. The Village Industries pretty much closed up after Ford graduated from this life.